How to be Inclusive this Holiday Season

There are likely more holidays being celebrated by your colleagues at the end of the year than just Christmas.

It’s important to respect the many different ways your employees may be spending this time of year.


Only about 32% of the world’s population celebrates Christmas, meaning everyone else either observes other non-Christian religious holidays, isn’t affiliated with a religion (i.e. those that identify as atheist or agnostic) or chooses not to celebrate for personal reasons.

Switching from wishing your coworkers “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays,” exclusively changing labels and titles, is no longer enough when it comes to inclusivity around the holidays.

Make an effort to learn about other traditions outside of your own. It’s time to approach the end of the year with inclusivity by building your understanding and awareness of the holidays and beliefs of the people around you. 

Here are 3 key ways you can celebrate more inclusively this holiday season:

  • Do your research. There are many resources readily available to help you learn how to (respectfully) celebrate the holidays. It’s okay to make mistakes and ask questions along the way if you need more guidance about unfamiliar customs.
  • Mark important dates in your calendar. If you don’t have worldwide holidays indicated in your calendar by default, try adding them in manually so you never miss a beat! There are great lists that break diverse holidays down by month to keep you organized. Planning work breaks around multiple holidays can also help you show your employees you respect their traditions.
  • Encourage your employees to share stories. One of the best ways to learn about your colleagues’ traditions and encourage an inclusive workplace culture is to invite everyone to share their stories. You’ll gain valuable insight into how your employees celebrate the holiday season by asking them questions directly and listening attentively.

Carve out some time to learn about cultural celebrations and be prepared for more inclusive holiday seasons moving forward.


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